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Suit filed by father of man who killed N.H. officer rejected

CONCORD, N.H. — The father of a man who killed a police officer in Franconia, N.H., in 2007, has lost in his latest attempt to sue the town.

A federal appeals court rejected the lawsuit filed by David Kenney, who said the officer violated Liko Kenney’s constitutional rights.

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The Caledonian-Record reported that a panel of judges at the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston denied a petition for a rehearing earlier this year.

The order upholds a decision by a New Hampshire federal judge to dismiss the suit, citing a lack of evidence.

Liko Kenney fatally shot police Corporal Bruce McKay on May 11, 2007, after McKay pulled over his car and pepper-sprayed him. Bystander Gregory Floyd witnessed the shooting, picked up McKay’s gun, and fatally shot Kenney.

David Kenney sued in 2010, saying McKay stopped Kenney’s car without cause and used excessive force. He said his son and McKay had a strained relationship dating back to 2003, when McKay first arrested him.

US District Judge Paul Barbadoro noted that Kenney, whose registration had expired, had driven away when McKay first stopped his car. The judge said McKay was justified in using his cruiser to push Kenney’s car off the road and pepper-spraying him during the subsequent approach. He said courts have consistently held that use of pepper spray is reasonable when the target is either resisting arrest or refusing to obey an officer’s request.

David Kenney’s last judicial recourse is the US Supreme Court. It was not immediately known if he planned to petition it to review the appeals court decision. The Caledonian-Record reported that Kenney, who now lives most of the time in Hawaii, could not be reached to comment.

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